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Apple likely working on in-display fingerprint scanner for its next iPhone

The potential electronic device will have sensors that will emit infrared light when a user puts his finger on it, according to the patent that has been granted to Apple.

twitter-logoYasmin Ahmed | November 4, 2020 | Updated 18:20 IST
Apple has been granted a patent from US Patent and Trademark Office for an image sensor built under the screen of an electronic device. (Picture: Reuters)

Highlights

  • Apple has secured a patent from the US Patent and Trademark Office for an image sensor built under the screen of an electronic device.
  • The patent explains that the protective outer cover is an interface surface to receive a touch input from a finger.
  • The patent suggests that Apple could be working on an optical imaging sensor that is either positioned or is integrated within the display of the electronic device.

Apple has secured a patent from the US Patent and Trademark Office for an image sensor built under the screen of an electronic device. The device includes a display positioned below the protective outer cover. The patent explains that the protective outer cover is an interface surface to receive a touch input from a finger.

The patent further notes that the optical imaging system will consist of two elements, namely a light emitting element and a photosensitive element, that will be isolated from the former.

In simpler words, this device will have sensors that emit infrared light when a user puts his fingerprint on it. The patent suggests that Apple could be working on a optical imaging sensor that is either positioned or is integrated within the display of the electronic device.

The patent states that the optical imaging system will be configured in such a way that when a product or a part of a product comes in contact with it, it will work on flood illumination or surface reflection in the form of infrared light.

The patent was filed in 2018 and has now been granted, Gadgets 360 first reported. Patents don't always lead to companies working on the mass production of devices. It is unclear if Apple will roll out this feature for sure, and if it does, then it will be for which device, however it is likely to be the upcoming generation of iPhones given that face ID is not a convenient option given that people are required to wear masks because of coronavirus. Apple currently uses touch ID or face ID for its devices. Apple is using face ID for its latest iPhone 12 series and new touch ID for iPad Air. So far, Apple has not used in-display fingerprint scanning in any of the devices.

However, future generation Apple devices -- iPhones and iPads will probably need fingerprint scanners because the masks have revealed that FaceID does not work that well in covid times.

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